Oral cancer, though fatal, can be easily treated if caught early. For this reason, it is important to have routine checkups at the dentist so he or she can screen your mouth for cancer.
Typically, oral cancer shows up as white or red patches or lesions in the mouth. They can even been seen on the tongue and the floor of your mouth. Some patients complain that they are having trouble swallowing while others may mention bleeding in the mouth. Swelling is also a common complaint. You may notice that your face is swollen or you have a lump on your neck.
Since cancerous lesions can look like a burn in the mouth, dentists often wait to see if they go away. If not, we will want to perform a biopsy to get a diagnosis. Under sedation (or anesthesia), we will remove a sample of the lesion so that a pathologist can look at it under a microscope.
The C word is quite scary but we will be here for you every step of the way! Treatment usually involves surgery as the best option if the lesion is localized and able to be removed. If not, we usually recommend a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
If you have received the cancer diagnoses or have some questions about a potential lesion, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (916) 422-8332.